Leh- The Roof top of the World
Day 01: ARRIVE DELHI
Arrive Delhi by an international flight. Meeting upon arrival by our representative and transfer to the hotel.
Meeting on arrival at Delhi International airport by our representative & transfer to hotel.
Delhi, The capital of India, is fascinating city with complexities, beauty and dynamism, where the past co-exists with the present. Many dynasties ruled from here and the city is rich in the architecture of its monuments. Delhi is not only the present metropolis of India but also a necropolis. Located on the banks of the river Yamuna, Delhi has witnessed the rise and fall of many cities over the last five millennia.
Overnight in Delhi
Day 02: DELHI / LEH
Early morning transfer to the airport to board flight for Leh. Arrive Leh by flight & transfer to hotel by car.
Surrounded by the Karakoram mountains on the north-east and the great Himalayan ranges in the south, and cut through by the river Indus, Ladakh is one of the highest inhabited places on earth. An arid desert situated at a height of between 3,000 and 5,000 mts above sea level, the region borders Kashmir in the west, Sikiang in the north and Tibet in the east. Ladakh literally derives its name from `la-dwags’ or the land of high passes. Today, Leh is the district headquarters of Ladakh fell on a minor off shoot of the fabled Silk Route and served as a caravan halt for travellers. Not jus material goods, but equally through the movement of monks, pilgrims and craftsmen, sacred texts and objects, religious thought and learning all passed through this region, laid the basis for an incredibly rich culture heritage.
Day free for acclimatization to the high altitude & low level of oxygen. It is advisable to rest completely for the 1st 24 hours after arrival in Leh.
Overnight in Leh
Day 03: IN LEH
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to visit Spituk (7 kms) & Phiyang gompa (18 kms from Leh).
Spituk gompas is situated 7 kms from Leh. Towering over a conical, the 3-chapel monastery dates back to the 11th century, when it was founded century by Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od.
Phiyang gompa is also known as Gouon gompa, means “blue peak” as it is beautifully situated on a hilltop above a small village of Chhiwang (around 22 km west of Leh). The monastery was built by King Lkra-Shis-Namgyal, founder of the Namgyal dynasty in 1500 after defeating the last of the Lha-Chen kings. Lkra-Shis-Namgyal ruled Ladakh from 1500 to 1532 and during his reign, filled the monastery with beautiful statues, thankas and copies of the Kandshur (the translated word of the Buddha) and the Thandshur (the 225 volume commentary on the Kandshur compiled by the religious teacher Du-ston, 1290 to 1364 AD). These extremely valuable texts are still at Phyang gompa. It belongs to Red-Hat sect of Buddhism and over 100 lamas live in the monastery.
Afternoon: City tour of Leh visiting Leh Palace & Shanti stupa.
Leh Palace is a former royal palace overlooking the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh. A precursor to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, the palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 16th century.
Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa on a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh, in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura and part of the Peace Pagoda mission.
Overnight in Leh
Day 04: LEH / SHEY / THIKSE / HEMIS / LEH
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed for day excursion to Shey (16 kms from Leh), Hemis (32 kms from Shey) & Thikse (30 kms from Hemis).
Overlooking a small lake, the palace & the fortification of Shey was the site of one of the former capitals of Ladakh. In the 10th century, the 1st ruler Western Tibet, Nyima-Gon, laid the foundations of the first dynasty of Ladakh. On a large rock below the palace is an engraving in shallow relief of the Five Dhyani Buddhas, credited to him. His son Palgyigon constructed the small palace and made it the first capital od Ladakh.
Hemis is the largest and the wealthiest monastery in Ladakh. It was founded by the lama Stag-stang Ras-pa at the invitation of King Sengge Namgyal as the private monastery of the royal family. It was built over a period of 40 years (602-1642A.D). Today Hemis is also known for its annual festival `Hemis Tsechu’ commemorating the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava.
Later visit Thikse monastery – one of the most vibrant and active monasteries in the region with a monastic community of about 90 monks headed by the successive reincarnations of the Khanpo Rimpoche. The foundation of the gompa was prophesied by Je Tsongkhapa who declared ‘On the right bank of the river Sindh my teaching will
come to flourish’. His disciple Sherab Zangpo of Stod built the first temple here giving it the name Tsulkhrim Namthagling. Thikse monastery located on a hill-lock with formidable views of the Indus valley, it is especially noteworthy for its gigantic seated statue of the Maitreya (future Buddha) and is also known for its (Dukhang) assembly hall, which houses hundreds of rectangular prayer books, stacked between wooden covers and bound in silk. Later return to Leh by car & upon arrival, check-in at the hotel.
Overnight in Leh
Day 05: LEH / LIKIR / ALCHI / ULLEYTOKPO
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Ulleytokpo by car (70 kms) en route visiting Likir (50 kms from Leh) & Alchi (5 km from Ulleytokpo) en route.
Likir means “The Naga – Encircled”, it means the Likir Gompa stands surrounded by the bodies of the two great serpent spirits, the Naga-rajas, Nanda and Taksako. The monastery was founded in the later half of the 11th century, around the year 1605. It belongs to the Yellow Hat Sect, founded by Tsongkhapa. It consists of a number of shrines inside its complex. Presently, it serves as the residence of approximately 120 Buddhist monks. The monastery also has a school, in which almost thirty students study. In the 15th century, Likir Gompa came under the influence of Lodos Sangphu. A disciple of Khasdubje, he made efforts to see that the monastery flourished and prospered.
Alchi is a village situated on the bank of river Indus and the village is famous for existence of one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh, mainly known for its wall paintings of the 11th century. The monastery was built by the great translator “Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo”. The wall paintings in Alchi Monastery are some of the oldest surviving paintings in Ladakh and reflect artistic and spiritual details of both Buddhism and Hindu kings of that time in Kashmir. Upon arrival in Ulleytokpo, check in at tented camp.
Dinner & overnight in Ulleytokpo
Day 06: ULLEYTOKPO / LAMAYURU / LEH
After leisure breakfast at the camp, transfer Leh by car (50 Kms from Uleytokpo- 130 Kms from Leh) en route visiting Lamayuru.
Founded by the Indian scholar Mahasiddhacarya Naropa in the 11th century (allegedly on the site of a dried-up lake) after spending many years meditating here, Lamayuru monastery belongs to the Red-Hat sect and is one of the largest and also one of the oldest gompa in Ladakh region with a population of around 150 permanent monks resident. It has, in the past, housed up to 400 monks, many of which are now based in gompas in surrounding the villages. The monastery is made up of a number of shrines and also has a very rich collection of thankas and magnificent wall paintings. At the outset, the Lamayuru Monastery consisted of five buildings, out of which only the central one exists today. Upon arrival, check-in at hotel.
Overnight in Leh
Day 07: LEH / PANGONG LAKE
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Pangong via en route Chang-la pass.
Ladakh range is crossed by the Chang-la pass at 5,475 m) to reach the world’s highest brackish Pangong lake (160 kms from Leh/4-5 hrs drive) at 4,267 m. Upon arrival, check in at tented camp. Spangmik, the farthest point to which foreigners are permitted, is only around seven km along the southern shore from the head of the lake, but it affords spectacular views of the mountains of the Changchenmo range to the north, their reflections shimmering in the ever-changing blues and greens of the lake’s brackish waters. Above Spangmik are the glaciers and snow capped peaks of the Pangong range. Spangmik and a scattering of other tiny villages along the lake’s southern shore are the summer homes of a scanty population of Chang-pa, the nomadic herd’s people of Tibet and south-east Ladakh.
Dinner & overnight in Pangong
Day 08: PANGONG / LEH
After a leisure breakfast, transfer to Leh by car. Upon arrival, check-in at hotel.
Overnight in Leh
Day 09: LEH / DELHI
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to airport in time to board flight for Delhi. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Delhi
Day 10: DELHI / DEPART
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport to board flight for onward destination.
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